The Grassroots Movement to Halt the Arms Race and End the Cold War
Published by: Cornell University Press
288 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 12 b&w halftones
- ISBN: 9781501760891
- Published: January 2022
In Freeze!, Henry Richard Maar III chronicles the rise of the transformative and transnational Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Amid an escalating Cold War that pitted the nuclear arsenal of the United States against that of the Soviet Union, the grassroots peace movement emerged sweeping the nation and uniting people around the world.
The solution for the arms race that the Campaign proposed: a bilateral freeze on the building, testing, and deployment of nuclear weapons on the part of two superpowers of the US and the USSR. That simple but powerful proposition stirred popular sentiment and provoked protest in the streets and on screen from New York City to London to Berlin. Movie stars and scholars, bishops and reverends, governors and congress members, and, ultimately, US President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev took a stand for or against the Freeze proposal.
With the Reagan administration so openly discussing the prospect of winnable and survivable nuclear warfare like never before, the Freeze movement forcefully translated decades of private fears into public action. Drawing upon extensive archival research in recently declassified materials, Maar illuminates how the Freeze campaign demonstrated the power and importance of grassroots peace activism in all levels of society. The Freeze movement played an instrumental role in shaping public opinion and American politics, helping establish the conditions that would bring the Cold War to an end.